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KRRAKC - Missions of a Rescue Program - Purple, With a Chance of Deep Haze and Rain


Starhawk
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Space - the Kerbal playground.  These are the voyages of a rescue space program.  It's noble mission: to explore recently visited worlds, to seek out new science and new anomalies, to boldly rescue every kerb who tries to go where they haven't gone before - and fails.

 

Recover Obemy and His Debris from Low Sun Orbit

I posted this in the "Self imposed KSP rules. Things we do that make things more difficult." thread:

On 2016-01-07 at 5:52 PM, Starhawk said:

I must accept every rescue mission I see.

Just rescued Kargee from Eeloo.

Thank goodness I haven't been to Moho yet in this save.

Happy landings!

So, of course, a few days ago I pop into Mission Control and accept a rescue mission...

ChJzU5Q.png

The words "low Sun orbit" seemed very ominous.

In the tracking station I saw this....

diRhCz4.png

Other than a string of expletives, I was at a loss for words.

How would you approach this?

Happy landings!

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I'd say go for an Eve flyby to drop your periapsis down to match Obemy's orbit. The worst part is going to be the burn to lower apopasis, and then the corresponding burn to raise it again once you've got him. Might be able to use Eve again on the way back too, which would have the added benefit of making aerobraking into Kerbin orbit a bit gentler than a direct return. Drop him off in Kerbin orbit and send up another ship to bring the pod down; no sense carrying parachutes and heat shields all the way down there and back. Other than that, I figure just pack as much delta-v as you can get around a probe core and a claw. Fortunately his ship is only 1.8 tons.

 

PS. This might be a good mission for ion engines, since the highest delta-v burns are so close to the sun you might get away with one Gigantor per two or three ions. It shouldn't be too hard to get 10,000+ m/s of delta-v to work with that way, plus whatever you used for a Kerbin departure stage.

 

PPS. I just took a look at it in map view: getting to that orbit and back directly from LKO is going to take at least 9,000 m/s each way. You could save some of the Kerbin departure burn (~500 m/s) by leaving from Minmus, probably another 1000 or so each way with Eve encounters, and potentially most of the Kerbin arrival burn (another thousand at least) by aerobraking, but that's still on the order of 14-15 km/sec of delta-v you'll need to put into LKO. Even more taking into account the extra 1.8t payload on the return trip.

Maybe a nuclear departure stage, then go to some kind of asparagus ion setup? Probably no getting around having a ridiculously low TWR at some point here.

 

PPPS. It's definitely possible with ions: stacking a bunch of xenon tanks, two Gigantors, the big probe core from Asteroid Day, a claw, and a single ion I was able to get about 24,000 m/s in one stage, down to 17,000 m/s once I added a cupola (which Obemy's ship almost certainly is), but of course the payload is only carried for half the trip. Mind you the TWR was about 0.04 so this might take some patience even with 4x physics warp. The whole think costs about $150,000 and weighs 5.7t.

Sticking a Kerbodyne tank drained of oxidizer under this with some LV-N's as a departure stage adds another 5-7 km/s of delta-v (depending on the radiator requirements and on how patient you are with low TWRs) and increases the cost to around $200,000--still a decent profit margin, even taking into account a launch vehicle.

I don't know how 1.0.5 heating will affect this, I've never aerobraked or gone near the sun in 1.0.5 so that might be a problem. I also discovered that xenon is apparently set to drain evenly like monoprop, so getting a multi-stage ion setup will require careful management. Also, the stack xenon tanks are inexplicably not radially attachable (!!) so getting them to be jettisonable could be annoying. Still, I'm convinced it's doable.

Edited by Hotaru
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21 hours ago, Hotaru said:

*Numerous excellent ideas and suggestions*

Thanks for the detailed suggestions!  I always gain insight into engineering when I look at differing approaches to a problem.

I concur that there's no getting away from a ridiculously low TWR.

I have very little experience using ion engines, so I don't tend to think of them.  My mind usually goes straight to Nerva when I think about enormous amounts of delta-v.

The ethics board of my space program has determined that for this rescue mission, funds are no object.  We have loads of funds, and to Mort's utter dismay, the ethics board says that the rescue itself is more important than the balance sheet.

 

20 hours ago, Scotius said:

ISRU outpost on Moho? Get there, refuel your ship, rescue Kerbal, return for more fuel, go home. It's how i would attempt it. And the equipment could be useful in case of another LSO rescue.

This is a good idea, too.  And your point about having infrastructure in place for any such missions in future is a very good one.

So, the first thing I did was to go into the tracking station and clicked on some random thing in LKO.  I made a couple of maneuver nodes to check the requirements and found it to be about 9000 m/s to get there and match Obemy's orbit, just as Hotaru said.  While gravity assists can save some delta-v, it doesn't seem significant when compared to the overall dv requirements, so I decided to use the 'brute force' approach and do a straight Hohmann there and back.

Sticking with the 'brute force' theme, I also decided to pack a huge heat shield to aerobrake the cupola module down through Kerbin's atmo.  This was probably unnecessary, but another of my self-imposed rules is that I don't put an unhardened module through the atmosphere without protection.

I spent a couple of hours in the VAB and this is what I came up with.

5ifyFoV.png

The lifter is a dozen Mammoths.  The outer ring of boosters is onion-staged (each has a fuel line that feeds from it to the corresponding inner stack).

The upper section consists of seven long Mk3 liquid fuel tanks each with three Nervas.  These are asparagus-staged.

So, with TWR's in the 0.24 range and even lower once we grab the cupola module, the burn times would be very long.  I decided to install MechJeb to manage the long burns.

Not having been even as close to the Sun as Moho since before there was heat, the big unknown was how much cooling I would need.  In my first test run with only two of the medium folding radiators, the engines overheated and exploded during the ejection burn.  Two of the large folding radiators turned out to be just right.

KER says it has 22 335 m/s of vacuum delta-v.

And all for the low, low price of only 1 162 662 funds!  I am so cruel to Mort.

I did a couple of iterations of 'Launch!  Oh crap.  Moar struts!' and then we were ready to go.

Considering the challenge, I was pleased that I was able to put together a solution in a short time with very few engineering problems.

I'll post more of the mission a bit later on.

Happy landings!

.

Edited by Starhawk
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Outstanding! I admire your commitment to the rescue, Starhawk. Looks like if any ship can do it it's this one. I think 'brute force' is indeed the way to go; it's a lot easier (for me, at least) to slap on a few more km/s than it is to line up all the planets in the right order for an assist. 

Obemy had better be worth all this. I expect him to be the outstanding star of your space program, boldly accomplishing what no Kerbal has ever accomplished before. Though he'd have a hard time topping the very mission needed to get him on your roster :) Good luck!

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23 hours ago, Kuzzter said:

Obemy had better be worth all this. I expect him to be the outstanding star of your space program, boldly accomplishing what no Kerbal has ever accomplished before. Though he'd have a hard time topping the very mission needed to get him on your roster :) Good luck!

Thanks!  Yes, we expect great things from Obemy.  Maybe I'll send him along as a token whitesuit on the Eve mission. :)

Anyway.  I was wrong.
About the radiators.  Two of the large ones was still a bit short and led to even longer burn times than I'd initially thought.

The launch was nominal and the lifter had just enough to put the ship in a 200 km orbit.  Lots of room for long burns without dipping into the atmo.

Alright.  I split the ejection burn into two burns.  The first was 800 m/s and this is how it looked afterward.

Qs51SlG.png

And that was only a five minute burn!

Loop around Kerbin and ready for the rest of the ejection.

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Midway through the burn we drop our first empty asparagus stage.

Spoiler

4DDalaO.pngX5vR68U.pngu8tslzO.png4Ovejoi.png

You can see in the next shot that even though the periapsis is now well inside Moho's orbit there's still a lot of delta-v needed to get it down that last little bit.

jY4GS5n.png

MechJeb's overheat protection came in handy due to the insufficient cooling.

mITwEbC.png

That put the ship on her way.

In the meantime, a suggested playlist for Obemy while he waits includes:

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Summertime in the Void
Walking on the Sun
Summer Days

I'll try and post the rest of the mission later today.

Happy landings!
 

Edited by Starhawk
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So the next step was a monster burn at periapsis to bring down the apo.  I was pretty confident in MJ so I let it run this one completely autonomously while I was out running errands.   When I returned the ship was safe and the apo was down to 4.6 million km.  Only about another 2.5 million to go.

The next burn would bring the apo down close and set up the rendezvous.  One more loop around the Sun and the ship would be close enough to go and grab Obemy's cupola.

icYr0JR.png

Here's what the craft looks like at this point, having already dropped the second asparagus stage during the previous (unseen) burn.

gsWAdR0.png

And, we finally began to close in on Obemy's debris.

2o2lDUQ.png

The capture was flawless and celebration swept through KSC.  Bubbly, intoxicating beverages were uncorked.

The festivities were hastily curtailed, however, when Obemy said "What!?  Didn't you send any 'hydrazine' up in this thing?  A bit unfair of you to be making me listen to you drink."
They ground controllers promptly refocused on the return trip.

Overall, I was very pleased.  Plenty of extra dV left over.  My initial plan called for only the final stage to do the entire return trip.

As I began to go through the journey in my mind some 'concerns' began to grow.

Firstly, the reaction wheels were on the two remaining outer stacks.  The inner now had only the probe core and the cupola module.  I checked in the VAB and the cupola has plenty of torque, so I figured we'd be okay in that regard.  And, we'd only have to finish the burn with the centre stack.  We'd start it with the reaction wheels attached.  So, again, my concern was allayed.

Secondly, the batteries were located on the outer stacks as well.  The only batteries we would have available would be the probe core and the cupola.  This would be fine until we were forced to decouple the final tank and the solar panels on reentry.  We would need enough power over enough time to hold us retrograde until we were through the dangerous part of the aerobraking process.  Well, we might have to be careful with setting up our reentry.

Lastly, MechJeb began reporting very weird numbers for dV after the capture.  I made sure to set the probe core as the 'Control from here' point, but the number was way off.  I knew from my design phase what it should be without recalculating it.  Then, I realized I still had KER installed.  Checked its dV readout and was comforted to see the expected values.  We were going to bring Obemy home!

Now I was ready to set up the burn for home.  Extremely easy to set up the maneuver and get an encounter when starting from a solar orbit.  I see why some people do their interplanetary trips that way.

This was the biggest single burn, but since there were only 9 Nervas left I was fairly confident in the cooling.  The other advantage of starting from a solar orbit is that it doesn't matter if the burns take a long time.  You're not on a rapidly changing trajectory like when you're at Kerbin periapsis so there's no need (other than heat) to split the burn.

GRWwxn4.png

And here's the map view with burn almost completed.

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At this point I must give kudos to the creators and maintainers of MechJeb.  The burn was crazy long but MechJeb absolutely nailed the 300 km periapsis at Kerbin that the burn was supposed to result in.

The ship returned with enough fuel to complete insertion into a 75 x 75 km orbit and still had about 300 m/s left in the tank.  Deorbit and reentry were completely nominal, the electricity lasted through the shock heating, and a happy new recruit to our space program was returned safely to his home.

LcC1QbM.png

bx2z5dF.png

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I'm sure he was worth it.

Happy landings!

Edited by Starhawk
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  • 1 month later...

The (Re)Birth of an Organization

After the rescue of Obemy and a few other ongoing rescue and recovery missions it was time to pause and take stock of the Kerbin Space Program and its many achievements.

We blazed the trail for Kerbalkind.

First, to the Mun.  Then to Minmus.  And onward to most of the other bodies in the system.

Where we have led, others have followed.  The corporate sector of Kerbin has eagerly pursued the wonders of space exploration.  At times they have exceeded their abilities and Kerbals have been left stranded.  In every case the Kerbin Space Program has been ready and able to rescue these brave kerbs who found themselves in these difficult situations.  Our well-known reverence for knowledge has even motivated us to recover the craft of stranded kerbs where valuable data could be salvaged.

In the history of the program we have completed 159 contracts, including 51 rescue or recovery missions.  We now have 55 active Astronauts (aka Kerbonauts) on our roster.

At this time it has been decided to rededicate our program and acknowledge our focus on rescue and recovery efforts.

A meeting was convened at the Administration Building.

   "Hey!  That's my chair."
   "No way!  That one squeaks when it spins."
   "This marker still tastes blue."
   "Settle down!  Okay, that's better.  We need a new name to go with our newly acknowledged focus and mission.  We will still be at the forefront of all exploration efforts, but we will also be responsible for all rescue and recovery operations.  The contract system will still be maintained so that some elements of craft cost may be covered."
   "Oh thank Kraken!"
   "Relax, Mort.  The entire corporate sector of Kerbin has agreed to fund all day-to-day operations, keeping the lights on and ensuring everybody from the Air Safety crew to Wernher are taken care of and flush with snacks.  Also, we have formally agreed to continue the practice of assigning any rescued kerb permanently to our program.  This will allow us to avoid the costly (and heavily subject to inflation) initial training."
   "Glad to hear they're taking responsibility.  They're the ones stranding everybody all over the place, not us.  Low orbit of the Sun, indeed!"
   "OK Mort, pipe down.  The engineering staff have been working feverishly to perfect our two new series of rescue vehicles.  The first, called the Firebolt series, (aka Taxicabs) will be simple, reliable remotely operated one-Kerbal ships that even a Tourist can operate.  The second series is called the Thundercraft series (aka Tow Trucks) and these are ships designed to recover a small crewed piece of debris and return debris, data, and Kerbal safely to Kerbin's surface.
   So, the question remains, what should we call the new program?"
   "I know!  We should call it Interplanetary Rescue.  After all, Thundercraft are -" "No!
That's been done.  And, anyway, it doesn't sound Kerbal at all."
   "How about Kerbal Rescue Assistance Program?"
   "Ummm, no."
   "Kerbal Rescue Assistance Mission?"
   "Sounds like we'd have to shove that down kerbs' throats.  I don't think so."
   "Kerbal Rescue Assisting Kerbals In Need?"
   "I think that might be blasphemy.  In any case it sounds a bit too dangerous, even for us."
   "Maybe Kerbal Rescue Assistance Service Helpers?"
   "No, that brings back bad memories.  And you're forgetting about the science and exploration part of our mission."
   "Okay, here's one.  Kerbal Rescue Recovery And Knowledge Department."
   "Ohhh, very close.  I think you're on to something there.  If we just change one word...
Kerbal Rescue Recovery And Knowledge Corps!"
   "Good one, boss!"
   "Kerbs will like that."

And so it was that KRRAKC was inaugurated.

One of the most prominent Kerbals, Admirable Surely Kerman (the title 'Admirable' being a great honour bestowed on the most accomplished and esteemed Kerbals by their peers), was on hand for the press conference announcing the changes.  She and Wernher had originally founded the program back before any Kerballed flights had been attempted.  It was rumoured that they had started the program in a garage or a barn or a trailer park.

   "Today we launch not only a new era in the history of our program, but also a new and ambitious mission!  We will send a station and resources out into the Jool system where kerbs and equipment will stand ready to assist fellow Kerbal space explorers in their time of need.  It is my great pleasure to announce and unveil the new remote operations centre - Laythe Station!"

XfaBhb8.png

   "We are also launching the second part of the station today, which will be connected to the core once they arrive at their destination.  Gentlekerbs, may I present the Firebolt module!"
   
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   "Finally, the third piece of Laythe Station, the Thundercraft Module!"

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   "These will be accompanied on their journey by the Jool Science Lander and the Jool Miner."

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And here's a look at the flotilla on its way.

QcdiJXl.png

And so begins a new phase of the program with the rebirth of an organization - KRRAKC.

I will have lots to say about the ships and upcoming mission(s) in future posts.

Happy landings!

Edited by Starhawk
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I like this  a lot, @Starhawk. I think that the best mission reports all present a set of missions, ships, personalities or all of the above that are not just exciting and well-executed but different from the readers' own experiences in their own S.A.V.E.s. After all, why should I read about your Jeb orbiting Kerbin when I have one of my very own? You started with a rule--not just "leave no kerbal behind", but "go rescue every kerbal". This made for a really fun challenge in going to low solar orbit, and now by extension of that concept you have a perfect excuse reason to put a team of big darn heroes in a home base and set up some fun adventures. The ships are cool, the story is fun to read, and nods to the "marker guy" and a certain flag officer are noted and appreciated--as I'm sure certain directors of shanghaiing operations (wow, that word made it through spellcheck on the first time?) will appreciate your kerbs' thought process regarding acronyms :D 

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Thanks for the comments!

The program has continued to move forward since Obemy's rescue and during the planning phase of the current mission.  Missions to both Eve and Moho have been mounted and completed.  Obemy (the most tanned Kerbal in history) was able to go and visit Gilly for his first real mission.  I intend to write that one up and post it here at some point in the future.  The engineering was quite interesting.  In any case, the day-to-day operations continued as normal and one day I went into Mission Control.

So, I got this contract...

kwG36Iw.jpg

And that started me thinking about creating Laythe Station and KRRAKC.

Anyway, during the years since Obemy's rescue including the planning phase of the new mission (I still need some cool names for the station, the ships and the mission) some additional contracts appeared and were accepted.  This is what the accepted contracts page looks like now.

8Wdn8FI.jpg

As you can see, we have plenty to keep us occupied!  :)

That last one is really exciting!  I've never done a 'Tow Truck' mission picking the scrap up from the surface of any body.  Of course, my pre-fab rescue ships will be no use for that mission.
We will need a new ship in the Thundercraft series which is a spacecrane to complete that one.  The other two Vall rescues, on the other hand, will be a perfect test of the Thundercraft 1.

At this point I think we should talk about all the various craft in the Jool flotilla.  The Jool Science Lander and the Jool Miner (yeah, I really need some cool names for these) were showed off quite well in the last post.  One point to note is that the Miner is driven by one Poodle and the four Terriers.  These are tied to action groups for ease of flying.  The Miner is designed to be able to land on Vall, but is expected to mostly operate on Pol.  Obemy (the Kerbal sun-tanning champion) is piloting the Miner.  He is teamed up with Dabelle, the senior engineer on this mission and second in experience only to Bill, himself.  Dabelle is a veteran of the Voyage of the Duna Miner (another thrilling tale) and is very experienced at running mining and refining ops.  I think she may be an interdimensional cousin of the famous Clauselle Kerman.

Laythe Station

ijTUUPe.png

This is the core of the new Home Base.  Driven by four nukes and currently has four Scansats attached to the docking port nodes.  I found the discussion of satellite deployment in the Jool Odyssey thread very interesting.

I actually used the Twitch engines on the Scansats to supplement the nukes and improve the TWR to shorten the ejection burns.  Cooked the radiators a bit, but I think they're OK.

The Station can hold 19 Kerbals (the contract called for 18).  Joan Kerman is piloting this one and is in command of this mission.  Our program's most experienced pilot aside from Val and Jeb, she has previously landed on Minmus, Ike, and Gilly.  The Station also has a selection of experienced pilots, scientists, and engineers as well as an assortment of absolute rookies here to get there first real experience.

This is the Firebolt Module.

f6ApV9H.png

Lots more fuel storage and docking ports and four Firebolt 1 rescue ships (Taxicabs).

And here is the Thundercraft Module.

wndNkQi.png

Basically the same substructure but with four Thundercraft 1 ships.  We are going to use up two of these immediately once we are set up to do the two Vall orbital rescues.  Hmmm, I really didn't think I'd have to restock quite so soon. :)

I'm running a very few mods, but one that significantly affects gameplay is the Scansat mod.  This will give me a bit more realistic satellite mapping and will allow us to locate various anomalies that are quietly whispered about in the depths of space.  The Scansats are equipped with a high-resolution Radar Altimetry scanner as well as a Multi-Spectral Sensor (this is what will allow us to locate anomalies) as well as both the M700 Survey Scanner and the M4435 Narrow Band Scanner.

I do believe that we've finally got this gravity capture thing figured out.

Obemy: "We just have enough dv to capture once we get there, but I don't know what we're going to use for maneuvering after that.  We can't mine space, after all."
Joan: "Well, rookie, have you ever heard of a gravity assist?"
Obemy: "Yes, ma'am.  We studied them a bit in training.  I don't think Zaltonic Electronics ever thought we'd use that info.  It seemed very confusing."
Joan: "Well, you're in luck.  I've never done this before, but I've read all the reports and had a long talk with Val about the Jool-5 Mission.  Here's what you (and all the other ships) are going to do.  Set a maneuver node halfway between Kerbin and Jool and bring up the projected path at Jool on your screen."
Obemy: "All right, I have it.  Our trajectory is just tangential to Tylo's orbit.  Prograde too, nice!"
Joan: "Great.  Now gently use prograde/retrograde to move the trajectory in toward Vall's orbit but don't go farther than that.  Stop as soon as you see a Tylo encounter."
Obemy: "All right.  How's this?"
Joan: "Nice and smooth.  OK, you're about at Vall's orbit and you didn't get a Tylo encounter."
lrjXgJe.png

Joan: "Here's the real trick.  Use radial/antiradial to bring your trajectory back out to where it's tangential to Tylo's orbit again.  All the while looking for that Tylo encounter, of course."
b0VPnLh.png

Joan: "If you don't get one, repeat the whole process.  Up to two more times."
Obemy: "OK.  I've done that.  Still nothing."
Joan: "Reset everything to zero and do the same process, but start with radial/antiradial."
Obemy: "Eureka!  There it is.  Very nice teaching, Ma'am."
2xMVQDT.png
Joan: "You've got the idea.  Now you can adjust where the encounter occurs using the same trick.  Keep playing with it until we have a nice capture.  Ideally we'd like a peri around Laythe's orbit and an apo around Tylo's but just try to keep the apo inside Bop's orbit and the peri outside Jool's atmo to start with.  Once you're very close you can add a tiny bit of normal or anti-normal to get a nice inclination for the final orbit."
Obemy: "You are a genius, Ma'am!  We have a Tylo encounter that will give us a good capture and the maneuver only costs 5.57 m/s.  Wow!  The node is set for 352d 5h 40m from now."
y473St1.png
Joan: "Excellent work, Obemy.  As further practice you can plot the nodes for the two automated modules.  Meanwhile, I'll give a briefing to all the pilots so everybody's up to speed."

This album shows the original trajectory in orange, the tweaked trajectory in purple, and the resulting Jool orbit in red for each of the five craft.

 

That was fun.  The biggest problem I had with my old Jool-5 mission was that I had that spaceplane docked orthogonally to the main ship axis on the nose.  This caused a definite wobble which was enough that maneuver nodes far from Jool were impossible to use.  The resulting trajectory would just wobble back and forth through the entire Jool system.

Anyway, these ships are much tighter and more enjoyable to fly.

That's exactly where the mission sits right now.

Onward and outward to our destination and the beginning of our greatest endeavour.

Happy landings!

Edited by Starhawk
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Nice to see all this coming together, and good teaching moment from Joan. Diddling RCS to perfect an intercept is a woefully underappreciated art form. I think a lot of pilots get so wrapped up in trying to drag the maneuver node arrows into perfect position that they forget how useful trial and error can be, especially when each "trial" just costs two puffs of mono :)  

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2 minutes ago, Kuzzter said:

Nice to see all this coming together, and good teaching moment from Joan. Diddling RCS to perfect an intercept is a woefully underappreciated art form. I think a lot of pilots get so wrapped up in trying to drag the maneuver node arrows into perfect position that they forget how useful trial and error can be, especially when each "trial" just costs two puffs of mono :)  

Well, I actually did all that with just maneuver nodes.  The ultra-fine adjustment by holding the pointer over a node handle and gently scrolling the mouse wheel was invaluable.  I'm going to go back and add some pics to Joan's lesson to Obemy to try and have it make a bit more sense.

I definitely use the RCS trial-and-error method and stand by it as probably the simplest, especially if the game is having difficulties displaying a post-node trajectory and for final fine-tuning of the resulting orbit..

Laythe Station itself doesn't have any attitude control thrusters or translation thrusters at all.  The other modules and ships are meant to dock with it.  In any case, I didn't have problems with the jumping trajectory lines and was able to create these five nodes which will result in five reasonably good orbits at Jool.  The biggest problem I face with these is how small the burns are.  Laythe Station already had an encounter with Tylo resulting in capture and I tweaked it to improve the inclination but the burn is something like 0.25 m/s.  The biggest of the five burns is 10.33 m/s so I'm pretty happy with how efficient these captures are looking so far.

Time will tell.

Happy landings!

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23 minutes ago, Starhawk said:

Well, I actually did all that with just maneuver nodes.  The ultra-fine adjustment by holding the pointer over a node handle and gently scrolling the mouse wheel was invaluable.  I'm going to go back and add some pics to Joan's lesson to Obemy to try and have it make a bit more sense.

Oh! Sorry about that, I don't think your initial text was really so confusing, I just read my own method into the description. Looking back I see it should have been obvious what you were doing. The pics will definitely help though for anyone else as slow-witted as me :) 

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13 minutes ago, Kuzzter said:

Oh! Sorry about that, I don't think your initial text was really so confusing, I just read my own method into the description. Looking back I see it should have been obvious what you were doing. The pics will definitely help though for anyone else as slow-witted as me :) 

I just repliked that post, but it gave me significant cognitive dissonance to do so what with your insulting my favourite KSP author.  :D

My stepdaughter is also an author hence the qualification.

I'm just recreating the maneuver node now.  Of course, it's not going quite the same as the first time.  I think I probably placed it some months ahead or behind of where the original one was.  Anyway the pictures should be up shortly.

Happy landings!

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Photos have been added to the gravity capture lesson.  I tried to make sure the node handles were highlighted in the pics, but you can tell how much prograde/retrograde and radial/antiradial (and normal/antinormal) by looking at the precise node panels in each shot.

I really hope it makes more sense now.

Happy landings!

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15 hours ago, Starhawk said:

I do believe that we've finally got this gravity capture thing figured out... That was fun.

That WAS fun.  Nice navigating, great looking craft, and excellent premise.  I'm looking forward to following more of these missions-- thanks for sharing them.

As someone likes to say: "Happy Landings!"

EDIT: I've recently come to appreciate the value of RCS "micro-adjustments" myself...  so effective.

Edited by boccelounge
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4 hours ago, boccelounge said:

That WAS fun.  Nice navigating, great looking craft, and excellent premise.  I'm looking forward to following more of these missions-- thanks for sharing them.

As someone likes to say: "Happy Landings!"

EDIT: I've recently come to appreciate the value of RCS "micro-adjustments" myself...  so effective.

Thanks so much!  I'm pretty sure that is the first time anyone has ever said 'great looking craft' about anything I've built.  :)

And yes, RCS microadjustments are the bomb.

3 hours ago, Commander Zoom said:

Thundercraft are Go!

Yes they are.  I couldn't help but think a bit about that old TV series when I started coming up with idea of a rescue focused space program.  I read something about a recent reboot of the TV series.   Okay, I just watched the trailer for the new(ish) CGI TV series.  It looks quite good visually.

I'm just about to go and actually do those burns to set up gravity capture.   Hopefully the trajectories will look as pretty after the burns!

I've tried to leave my options open a bit as to how things will go on arrival.  Translation: I haven't planned this out very much at all.  I called the station Laythe Station simply because of the contract.  I started designing it long before I had the idea for this thread, hence the name.  Anyway, I've been unsure about the final station location since I started designing the mission.

To fulfil the 'Build a Station...' contract, I'll put it in Laythe orbit, but after that it could go anywhere.  Part of me wants to station it in Jool orbit between Vall and Tylo.  Or, maybe it'll disassemble and move around on a regular basis if I can think of a pretext for that.

What do you think?

Happy landings!

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Well the Kraken attacked on the weekend.

Fortunately, there are five engineers aboard Laythe Station including two four-stars.  We beat back the Kraken.  And then...

   "We're extremely relieved to hear that you've overcome the scariest of space beasts, Joan.  The resourcefulness of KRRAKC engineers is legendary.  It's a very good thing that your engineering staff is truly a KRRAKC team.
    We're also glad to hear that all mid-course adjustment maneuvers to set up Tylo encounters and Jool captures have been successfully completed with nominal deviation.
    I'm afraid your team can't go back into hibe just yet, however   I'm very embarrassed to tell you that there is a slight engineering issue with the station that we noticed in the plans while trying to help analyze your problem with the beast.  I'm confident that the prowess displayed thus far by your engineering team  can be put to the test again and triumph over the adversity caused by overworked ground operations and engineering staff.
    What is this slight issue, you ask?  Uh, well, it's not really slight.  More like mission-breaking  It's also the worst rookie engineer mistake there could be on that craft.  Here goes... the Clamp-o-tron Seniors are on backwards.
    At this point, Joan, I'm a bit grateful for the communications delay.  In any case, the team back at KSC has every confidence that you'll be able to remove them and remount them in the correct orientation.  And make sure to keep tabs on the Scansats while they're detached.
    Gene out."

   "Well, excrement!  OK, engineers - how bad is this, really?"
   "Very bad, ma'am.  If we send the 'decouple node' command to either of those docking ports right now, intending to release the Scansat, the port will decouple from the rest of the ship and float away with the Scansat.  Not only would the Scansats be rendered essentially useless, we would be unable to dock the Firebolt and Thundercraft modules to the station!"
   "Can you fix it?"
   "Yes, ma'am, we're KRRAKC engineers!"
   "I love that spirit.  Well, get KRRAKCing!"

 

An hour or two of experimenting with save file manipulation seems to have done it.  I have to say that it's rather humiliating to admit to such a rookie mistake after this mission began with such fanfare and promise.

 

   "Well, Gene, we sorted out the ground team's - little issue.  You'd better not let this get out.  We'll be a laughingstock among all the corporations.  That also means we'll be a laughingstock to the very kerbs that we're supposed to be out here helping!
    We're the ones that will be making frontline contact with these kerbs.  We can't have them seeing us as fools!  And just how long will the corporate sector continue to support this mission if they hear about such - uh - Kerbal happenings affecting KRRAKC.  They're the ones who are allowed to be Kerbal.  Now that they're all depending on us, we can't afford to be.
    I'm sorry to rant and I know that I'm out of line, but this is deeply worrying.  I just hope there aren't any more of these little issues.  I'm quite certain that we'll have enough to deal with once we arrive at Jool.  Speaking of which, since we already have two rescues scheduled from Vall using Thundercraft, you may as well send a couple of replacements.  And we could probably use a small clawed tug with decent delta-v, as well.  Did anybody back there bother to actually calculate the delta-v of these Scansats and compare that to what they'd need?
    End rant.  Joan out."

 

So, yeah.  Epic engineering fail.  It's pretty embarrassing to admit it, but there it is.  Hopefully I didn't mess anything up with the save file editing.  I've never tried to alter a craft that way before. It looks good so far.

Next up will be orbital operations.  I'm starting to see that this is going to get very complex with the various maneuvers required.  None of the result orbits is stable because they all cross the orbits of the inner moons so maneuvers need to be set up right away to avoid unwanted encounters.

Here's a shot of the trajectory of Laythe Station (that's still a temporary name) after encountering Tylo and being inserted into Jool orbit.  It's now set up for a couple of orbital maneuvers that will encounter and capture at Laythe, fulfilling the promise of its name and completing the station contract.

uzJ7UKK.png

The adventures of KRRAKC will continue.

Happy landings!

Edited by Starhawk
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Wow. First off, I've done that with docking ports SOOO many times. It's why "hyperedit to orbit in Bill Space Program and check docking" is on my permanent checklist. But fixing it in the save file, I assume with just a text editor and a glass of Scotch, is next-level. Kerbfleet Bill would be quite impressed, as am I :) 

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8 minutes ago, Kuzzter said:

Wow. First off, I've done that with docking ports SOOO many times. It's why "hyperedit to orbit in Bill Space Program and check docking" is on my permanent checklist. But fixing it in the save file, I assume with just a text editor and a glass of Scotch, is next-level. Kerbfleet Bill would be quite impressed, as am I :) 

Well, thanks!

And, yes, that is exactly how it was done.  :)

Happy landings!

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